How Jiving John got his rock 'n' roll stamina back

Self-proclaimed ‘Jiving John’ has always enjoyed keeping fit, attending rock ‘n’ roll, jive and ballroom dances with his wife for over 17 years. But in his sixtieth year, John says he started to feel ‘uncomfortable’.

Despite his regular dancing, over the years his weight had crept up until eventually he weighed 17 stone. The weight not only made it harder for John to enjoy dancing the way he used to, but it compounded serious health issues.

Feeling ‘not quite right’, John undertook tests with his doctor and found he had developed type 2 diabetes. John knew that this, on top of the asthma he had suffered throughout his life, could have drastic effects on his wellbeing. He had to do something fast to improve his health.

John was fortunate to have a Nuffield Health gym at work, giving the training and equipment he would need to get back on track. From the day he joined John had access to his trainer Tanya. She helped determine John’s goals and worked within his limitations to develop a bespoke training programme that would help gradually improve his fitness.

John started on a programme of light aerobic exercises for 30 minutes three times a week. Tanya reviewed his programme every couple of months to ensure he didn’t get bored and his progress continued. Three years on, John now enjoys five 1hr 20min sessions per week (including weights to build his strength). “Tanya does encourage me,” says John, “but the more exercise you do, the better you feel.”

Despite having to buy a new wardrobe, John says he’s delighted with the results, which have seen him drop from 17 stone to 13 stone. John’s small victory has been feeling more comfortable and, he says:

Remarkably, John has also been able to come off his diabetes medication completely and his sugar levels are now controlled. “Exercise can be useful to anyone no matter what their age,” says John, who intends to keep up his exercise regime and focus on looking after his joints.

Last updated Tuesday 7 January 2020

First published on Tuesday 26 May 2015